Last Sunday we spent some time with our daughter’s family in Osseo. Lauren, age 7, celebrated her First Eucharist in May. As she got into our car she said, “Grandma, I‘ve received Jesus three times—once on my First Communion, on Wednesday at the school Mass and today!” That is one of the gifts these young people bring to our community—their awe and wonder and delight in this new relationship with Jesus!
Today as a Church we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Every year our 6th Graders focus on how God was present to people in the Old Testament. The highlight of the year is to celebrate a mini-Seder Meal. The Seder commemorates God’s presence, and love and care for his people. Our Jewish friends are to celebrate the Seder in remembrance of God’s saving action leading them from slavery in Egypt to freedom and the Promised Land every year to remember— who they are and what God did for them.
In today’s Gospel, Mark makes the connection between this expression of God’s promise to be with his people signified by the covenant between God and the Israelites and the saving action and ever-presence of Jesus. The sacrificial blood is what these two covenants have in common. In the first covenant animals were sacrificed. In the New Covenant Mark speaks of, it is Christ’s “blood shed for many.” In both cases, sacrifice led to new life and a new relationship with God.
Today when we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we are reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sakes. But today we celebrate more than a saving action that occurred 2000 years ago. We celebrate our participation in the continued saving presence of Christ! Jesus not only invites us but commissions us to become his saving presence in the world today and for all time. It is easy to see the sacrifice of soldiers in war, or martyrs for our faith. Jesus does not call all of us that kind of sacrifice.
But when we sacrifice time for our children, our aging parents, community needs, or precious time for Eucharistic Adoration, we are becoming the presence of Christ for the world today. That is something to be amazed and awed by!
St. Francis Xavier Faith Formation Coordinator
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC